[Source] The New York Times recently posted an article on Riot Games, developer of eSports sensation League of Legends, and gave an insight on how the company operates. These includes the eSports scene, making money, game philosophy and more. Here are some interesting points.
1. The Summoner’s Cup, the trophy presented at the annual World Championships, is actually too heavy to lift as Riot Games did not ponder about the weight when first designing the item.
2. Game tournaments for League of Legends, pretty much like most game companies’, are actually losing money for Riot Games and used as “marketing to bring in new players and to inspire loyalty in regulars”.
3. League of Legends now has 67 million monthly active users, compared to 20,000 active users back in February 2010.
4. League of Legends cost around USD 18 million to develop, far from the USD 3 million estimated by Riot Games’ founders.
5. According to SuperData, a market research firm, League of Legends made USD 122 million this August worldwide. League of Legends will be one of the very few games to bring in USD 1 billion in 2014.
6. Riot Games is very serious about its game development policies, especially the mantra “Revenue is second, the player experience is first”.
7. There are around 1,500 staff in Riot Games currently.
8. Riot Games is preparing to launch an online merchandise shop in 2015, selling official League of Legends items — T-shirts, sweaters, track jackets and more.
9. A corporate division known as “Foundations” is currently in-charge of fleshing out the history of all the game’s champions, including the climate, landscape, architecture and dress of their place of origin.
10. Staff at Riot Games still wear flip-flops and T-shirts at work.
11. There are actually industry spies using equipment such as telescope to look through the companies’ windows (confidential stuff on the walls sometimes), hence some window shades are always drawn.